Airports to beef up security with enhanced anti-terror cover

New Delhi: A major plan to provide an enhanced anti-terror cover to airports is in the offing which will involve deploying smart CCTV cameras, armoured vehicles and perimeter protection fences at these facilities.

The CISF, tasked with providing armed cover to 59 civil airports in the country, has embarked on a first-ever mission to prepare a ‘concept paper’ to standardise security gadgetry and infrastructure at these locations.

Once in place, the country’s airports would be among some of the best secured across the globe.

A high-power panel comprising officials of the CISF, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and airport operators has begun conducting a ground assessment at select airports and the beginning of ‘tag-free’ hand baggage for passengers is a measure in this direction.

The initial upgrade of such security systems is expected to be operationalised in the next few months.

“We are in the process of preparing a concept paper for integrating the overall security architecture at airports under our cover. It will spell out the entire gamut of security-related protocols. We expect that our task in this domain will enhance and hence standardisation of such issues is important,” CISF Director General O P Singh told PTI.

He said the paper will be shared with other stakeholders in airport security for its effective implementation and with an aim to put it in place in one go.

A senior official supervising airports, under the command of the Union Home Ministry, said a series of smart gadgetry coupled with changed layout of physical barriers will soon come up.

A blueprint prepared in this regard by security agencies, also accessed by PTI, states that the “CCTV systems that monitor pre-embarkation checks and security hold area need to be upgraded to capture the whole gamut of activities from the terminal area upto the aircraft”.

“It is desirable that every part of terminal building (especially the sterile zone that passengers enter after their physical frisking) has CCTV coverage without any grey areas,” it states.

“Video analytics features in the existing CCTV cameras are required to be installed. This would help in identification of passenger, staff and unattended baggage in a lesser time to make analysis and fix accountability,” it said.

The blueprint also stipulates that the quick reaction teams of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) should immediately be provided with armoured vehicles to effectively counter a terrorist attack.

Large airports like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru should be secured by foolproof intrusion-detection systems or perimeter fences, it says.